Sister provides updates on Crothersville officer’s condition


Four days after being seriously injured in a wreck on Interstate 65, a Crothersville Police Department reserve officer continues on the road to recovery.

Michael Weiler’s sister, Kim McKinley, has provided updates via her Facebook page.

On Tuesday afternoon, she said her brother hates having a feeding tube down his throat and managed to pull it out the night before.

"His meds have to be a certain way before they can take out the tube, so back in it went," she wrote. "They did wait a bit to see how his breathing was, but it wasn’t good enough to be off. Now given that, he is a fighter, and that’s a good sign. No real changes, and the doctors say that pulling the tube out wasn’t really a setback. They are still hoping to take it out (today)."

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McKinley said Weiler’s wife, Donna, believes the pain medications are making him nauseous, and that’s why he’s fighting the tube so much, so doctors added medications to help him rest more comfortably.

"Please, please just continue to pray for Michael and Donna," McKinley wrote.

"They also got some devastating financial news (Monday) and will be struggling more than you can imagine through this," she said. "We appreciate all the prayers, concern, financial help, offers for help for everything under the sun. Thank you for being there and being such faithful support, physically, emotionally and especially spiritually. We can literally see those prayers at work."

Weiler, 45, who is the pastor of New Life Missionary Baptist Church in Brownstown and is a volunteer with the Brownstown Volunteer Fire Department, had to be extricated from his police car Friday morning after it was rear-ended by a semi on northbound I-65 at the 44-mile-marker between Uniontown and Seymour.

Shortly before 6 a.m., Weiler and Chief Matt Browning pulled their vehicles onto the interstate to provide traffic control for a highway maintenance crew, blocking both northbound lanes with their emergency lights activated.

A semi, being driven by Harvest L. Beacham, 37, of Indianapolis, was traveling in the right lane approaching the police vehicles when it collided with the rear of Weiler’s vehicle, pushing it off of the east side of the roadway, where it overturned and came to rest on its top. The semi entered the median, collided with a cable barrier and came to a stop. Beacham was not injured.

After being extricated, Weiler was flown from the scene to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. That afternoon, he was in serious but stable condition.

Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be factors in the wreck, although toxicology results are pending, and the investigation is ongoing.

On Saturday, McKinley posted on Facebook that her brother’s brain bleed stopped and he had five fractures in his spine (three that will heal on their own and two that will require him to wear a brace from his neck to waist), a collapsed lung that reinflated, severe bruising on his lungs and broken ribs in two or more places with the exception of two.

On Sunday, McKinley said Weiler had his back brace put on but was still in a lot of pain and doctors were keeping him sedated.

A nurse told Donna her husband would be in the hospital for two to three weeks.

"He is conscious and has been all along, but because they want him still, they’ve kept him very heavily sedated, so we’ve not been able to communicate with him very much," McKinley wrote. "He can squeeze fingers and move body parts, and when the nurse told him that his momma said she loved him, he gave a thumbs up. He’s strong and just ornery enough that he will be OK over time."

On Monday, she said the ventilator was turned all the way down, and doctors needed him to be taking at least 10 breaths per minute on his own, and he was averaging 16 per minute.

"God is good," she wrote. "They’ve turned the ventilator down from 10 to six, and his oxygen level is staying at 100%. They will continue to try to turn it down today and wean him off. Right now, it’s taking 18 breaths per minute for him, and they need it to get to where it’s only taking eight and Michael is doing 10 on his own."

If Weiler can breathe on his own and fill his lungs, no surgery will be required, McKinley said. If not, he will stay on the ventilator and undergo surgery to install metal plates in his rib cage to give support while healing and so he can draw that air in, she said.

Weiler was given pain medications through his feeding tube and intravenously in hopes of having a more even pace of pain control. McKinley also said he was able to follow commands and move extremities, so those were positives.

"Our families continue to be humbled by the number of people praying for Michael, and we aren’t sure how to say thank you in a way that would truly express how thankful we really are," she wrote.

With that post, she shared a picture of the Weilers and their three sons from 2012 and a picture of Michael and his identical twin brother, Matthew, who died four years ago in a traffic accident with a truck.

"This accident with Michael has been doubly hard for our family because it brought back some awful memories and feelings," McKinley said.

With each post, McKinley has shared a link to a GoFundMe page created by Katie Masters to help cover expenses for the Weilers and his family.

"As a pastor and a volunteer law enforcement officer, he selflessly serves every day," Masters wrote on the page. "This is a time to show how much we appreciate this kind of service."

Donations also may be made at any location of The Peoples Bank, and fundraisers selling T-shirts and decals are underway with all money going to the family.

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To help Michael Weiler and his family, donate online at or visit any location of The Peoples Bank.

If anyone would like to send a card to the Weilers, address it to Michael Weiler, Room 2919, Ascension St. Vincent Hospital, 2001 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46260.

T-shirts also are being sold as a fundraiser with all proceeds going to Weiler. The cost is $25 for small through extra large or $28 for 2XL and up. Pay through PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at shellyacton. If using PayPal, click "Friends and Family."

Decals are being sold to raise money for Weiler and his family, too. They are 3-by-6 inches with a white background, a flag with a red and blue stripe and 19-6 Strong and cost $10 each. Order through Aug. 31 from J.L. or Bethany McElfresh via Facebook Pay, through PayPal at [email protected] or by cash. Decals will be available for pickup by Sept. 4.


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